In my second trip to another Irani cafe, back to back weekends as it happened, I checked out B Merwan near Grant Road railway station, on a recommendation of a friend who frequents this place for breakfast and gave amazing reviews.
B Merwan was started in 1914 by Boman Merwan and has been serving Mumbaikars with amazing morning tea and bun maska as well as the delicious iconic mawa cake. It was sold last year and the new owners shut it down for about a month for redevelopment. It is touted as one of the best and the cheapest Irani cafes in Mumbai for breakfast. It enjoys tremendous customer loyalty with some people coming here for decades and have never thought of going anywhere else. With such a strong history and fame of a century, it is a must go place in Mumbai.
I reached there in the noon after I finished some work at the nearby Lamington Road. The moment I entered this place, it reminded me of the cafes we see in 70s bollywood movies – be it the chairs and tables, the arrangement or the interiors. Just like in Yazdani, I saw that people here also have no qualms on sharing the table. I shared the table with one gentleman who was almost done with eating. I tried the obvious – tea and bun maska, khari biscuits, omelette and parceled the famous mawa fruit cake. I also wanted to try out the pudding but they had ran out of pudding by that time. Other must taste plates of the place include samosas and mawa puffs.
Tea was good, although nothing that I found special but it was made well. Khari biscuits disappointed me a little as, in terms of look and taste, it was like any other Khari biscuit. It didn’t score well if I compare it to the one I had in Yazdani which was amazingly crisp and very different in appearance as well. Also, one of them was not crisp but slightly doughy.
What amused me was bun maska as it was a little different than I expected – two thick bread slices with butter in between. Breads of shape that are typically used for garlic bread. Although, on the internet, I did see this place serving bun maska with the actual bun, so they might be calling both of them the same and serving whatever is available. I loved the omelette. Perfectly made – neither overcooked nor undercooked from any place. The combination with bread – eating like roti-sabzi was unique and went well.
However, the star of the day was mawa fruit cake and now I know why it is famous for. It is definitely a must try.
The staff was good and the service was amazingly fast even though the restaurant was full at that time. What I also loved was, excluding the cake, the entire bill was just under 70 bucks which is dead cheap for the quality served. So, if you’re short on cash but want a heavy breakfast under 100, this is the place to be!!